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Intel i3-2100 VS AMD Phenom x4 965 BE

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May 9, 2011 8:07:10 PM

Which is better the intel i3 or phenom 965. I plan on OC'ing and my GPU is the Radeon HD 5850. I am not spending over $250 on CPU and motherboard. With the phenom I am thinking about getting this motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know which motherboard for the i3.

OR I can extend my budget by like $20 and get this (I'm not leaning towards this because of the cheap motherboard but it does have a good processor.

CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 9, 2011 8:50:50 PM

You can get the 965 and this AM3+ mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Take anand's bench with a big grain of salt, they've tested only at 1680x1050 and didn't specify the video card they used. A true quad is very useful in many games.
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May 10, 2011 9:06:29 AM

The i3 2100 is a better gaming processor compared to the 965. But you cannot overclock it at all and is you want a motherboard thats supports crossfire at 8x/8x it cost a huge amount more than an AMD one. I assume you want crossfire as the 870 board you chose is the cheapest that does. If you want to overclock and want crossfire the 965 is a better value choice but the 2100 is the better gaming CPU.
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May 10, 2011 1:09:09 PM

If you plan on overclocking, you want 965BE, however the 955BE is cheaper and will run the same speed.
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May 10, 2011 2:06:22 PM

simon12 said:
The i3 2100 is a better gaming processor compared to the 965. But you cannot overclock it at all and is you want a motherboard thats supports crossfire at 8x/8x it cost a huge amount more than an AMD one. I assume you want crossfire as the 870 board you chose is the cheapest that does. If you want to overclock and want crossfire the 965 is a better value choice but the 2100 is the better gaming CPU.


The graphics card is more important than the cpu for most games. A 3.0 sandy bridge at stock is quite capable of driving a GTX480 class graphics card.

If you are in the $200 price range, the 2500K is currently the best option. At stock, it will run any graphics configuration well. An OC of 4.0 is easy, and no more is really needed.


There are many options for graphics upgrades using a single card. At least well past the point of sanity when using a single 1920 x 1200 monitor. With a lesser card, you can just sell it on e-bay, and replace it with a stronger card. That saves you from more expensive motherboards, stronger power supplies, added cooling needed for sli/cf.
Also, some games do not play well with dual gpu's.

Just my opinion, but sli/cf is a poor choice when a single graphics card solution is available.

Still 8x/8x sli/cf is OK, You suffer a small(1-3%?) reduction in FPS if you are using GTX580 class cards; virtually no loss with lesser cards.
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May 10, 2011 2:17:42 PM

My budget for CPU and motherboard is $235.

I probably will overlock when i save up some more money and get a better CPU cooler. So what do you guys think.
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May 10, 2011 2:35:08 PM

jksingh said:
My budget for CPU and motherboard is $235.

I probably will overlock when i save up some more money and get a better CPU cooler. So what do you guys think.


What is your intended use for the cpu/motherboard?

Assuming it is for gaming, then look at a sandy bridge 2100 $125:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a P67 motherboard for about $100:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will not need to overclock with any graphics card less than a GTX580.
Sandy bridge is 32nm based, and runs cool enough that a mild OC is OK with the stock cooler.

I suggest a P67 based motherboard to preserve your option to swap out the 2100 for a 2500K and overclocking in the future.
Actually, the ivy bridge 22nm cpu's will be available and will be supported by any of the 1155 motherboards with a bios update. Perhaps a year from now.

The Z68 chipset will be available this week, but I expect them to be at a price premium. If the price premium is small, that would be my choice.

If integrated graphics are OK, then a H61, H67, or Z68 based motherboard will be OK. They start at about $65.
If you are on a tight budget, the H61 motherboards will all have a pci-e x16 slot for graphics and will perform just as well as any other. Just do not plan on any overclocking.
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May 10, 2011 2:56:36 PM

geofelt said:
What is your intended use for the cpu/motherboard?

Assuming it is for gaming, then look at a sandy bridge 2100 $125:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and a P67 motherboard for about $100:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will not need to overclock with any graphics card less than a GTX580.
Sandy bridge is 32nm based, and runs cool enough that a mild OC is OK with the stock cooler.

I suggest a P67 based motherboard to preserve your option to swap out the 2100 for a 2500K and overclocking in the future.
Actually, the ivy bridge 22nm cpu's will be available and will be supported by any of the 1155 motherboards with a bios update. Perhaps a year from now.

The Z68 chipset will be available this week, but I expect them to be at a price premium. If the price premium is small, that would be my choice.

If integrated graphics are OK, then a H61, H67, or Z68 based motherboard will be OK. They start at about $65.
If you are on a tight budget, the H61 motherboards will all have a pci-e x16 slot for graphics and will perform just as well as any other. Just do not plan on any overclocking.


I'm going to get a radeon hd 5850. Does that make a difference? This wil be a gaming build. Should I take away like $30 from my case budget and go for the i5 2500k with like a $70 motherboard. The case I am getting is the CM 690 II Advanced. I am really leaning towards the 965. Why is the i3 DUAL CORE vs Quad core better. The amd costs $15 dollars more. I've changed the motherboard option to this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 10, 2011 3:46:25 PM

jksingh said:
I'm going to get a radeon hd 5850. Does that make a difference? This wil be a gaming build. Should I take away like $30 from my case budget and go for the i5 2500k with like a $70 motherboard. The case I am getting is the CM 690 II Advanced. I am really leaning towards the 965. Why is the i3 DUAL CORE vs Quad core better. The amd costs $15 dollars more. I've changed the motherboard option to this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Ding. Ding. Ding.

If you are going to further massage yer budget (that $30 you were speaking of ...) and have the cash flow the XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB is $199.99 with code EMCKEJK34 after $30 rebate (valid till 11:59pm PT 05/11/2011).

Should easily give yah 20-25% beyond that HD5850.
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May 10, 2011 5:42:20 PM

The i3 2100 is clearly the faster processor here.. However, you would need to get a motherboard like the Asus P8P67 Pro to have a good multi GPU option.. Together with the processor, it will get past 300$.. If you can manage that then surely go for it.. You won't be disappointed with either though.. Considering only gaming and no upgrade thoughts for another year or two, the 965BE isn't bad at all..
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May 10, 2011 6:05:15 PM

I probably won't upgrade for like 2-3 years. I'll probably build a new more expensive rig in the next 2-3 years.
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May 10, 2011 6:38:03 PM

jksingh said:
I probably won't upgrade for like 2-3 years. I'll probably build a new more expensive rig in the next 2-3 years.


In that case go for the 965BE build.. It has enough horsepower to carry your gaming needs for another couple of years atleast (may be even more).. Rest assured that between that processor and video card if anything will require an early update then it'll be the video card..
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May 10, 2011 8:13:49 PM

Emperus said:
The i3 2100 is clearly the faster processor here.. However, you would need to get a motherboard like the Asus P8P67 Pro to have a good multi GPU option.. Together with the processor, it will get past 300$.. If you can manage that then surely go for it.. You won't be disappointed with either though.. Considering only gaming and no upgrade thoughts for another year or two, the 965BE isn't bad at all..


I probably won't go double GPU.
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May 10, 2011 8:30:57 PM

jksingh said:
I probably won't go double GPU.


In this case, the total price for a LGA 1155 build comes down when using the same CPU (i3 2100).. You can get the Asus P8P67 then.. That brings the total to about 280$ which is still a good 45$ above your current budget.. To bring it close to your budget, you will need to get seriouslly low with the motherboard..

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681313527... + www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681911507... = 232$
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May 10, 2011 8:52:04 PM

Should I knock off 40 bucks from my case budget for a better motherboard. I am currently getting LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 for $100. Will it be worth it for a better motherboard?
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May 10, 2011 9:46:35 PM

If you want to upgrade your CPU in the future then get a good board with the P67 chipset if you will upgrade your board anyway when you upgrade the CPU then a cheap H61 or H67 board will do.
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